Greetings Mindful Monday Meditators!
The 1st Advent candle for hope is here burning brightly! This gateway into the season found me a little behind on December 1st deadlines tempered with a lot of self acceptance & compassion setting the tone for my intentions of a joyous and peaceful Christmas & holiday season! Jeremiah & I are doing a fair amount of music together & my 12 year old math wizard is beginning to be quite the musician! He & I are playing for the local Las Posadas procession this weekend:
This live enactment of the Christ story features real everything, including donkey & baby, the knocking on doors (local B & Bs) and the town full of folks walking with candles & singing. Truthfully, I thought it might be hokey ~ fun, but hokey. To the contrary, I get major angel kisses every time. Something incredible & palpable happens each year … when the precession ends at the manger, hearts are united in a mysterious, mystical way. This is our 4th year to participate as part of the walking choir though the last 2 years, I have been up on the trailer with the amplification for musicians & readers. I played what I considered back up guitar to the other musicians so this year when I was asked to be the ONLY musician, I brought Jeremiah onboard. He is playing the melody lines on ukulele while I play the chords & sing. We are at the head of the precession, followed by Mary, Joseph, shepherds & animals, then the “official” walking choir & behind them, the choir of others that want to walk & sing (some sit with candles on main St. as the precession goes by). One of the music goals is for all of us to be singing together ~ you know, same words & notes at the same time! It can be tricky in such a long line! Rehearsal yesterday was good ~ I have to say I’m amazed by my son ~ and in the end, that mystical experience that is Las Pasadas will unfold in divine, perfect imperfection! Serving in this way is both delighting & exciting while at the same time full of peace & calm.
Advent begins! We light the first candle for hope. The Advent wreath itself is green symbolizing hope & everlasting life. This use of evergreen boughs at Christmas dates back pre-Christianity as the essence of life & re-birth filled people’s homes in the midst of winter darkness. Christians light advent candles the four Sundays before Christmas. As an interfaith, metaphysical Christian, I look to the flames for inspiration. In the tradition of Advent, the process is about cleansing & preparing for Christ. In our belief structure, Christ is always here & available to us though certainly, the more we clear & open our hearts, the more Christ light naturally flows through us.
This first candle of hope symbolizes that eternal flame within us that says we can do & be better. Hope does not threaten acceptance & peace of what is … it simply fires us up to keep growing & aspiring to be more & more of the divine expression we came here to be! In our spiritual practice this month of living life as a gift & being with Oh Holy Light, we are seeing, feeling & being more of the light that is the truth of who we are. As a family, the practice is much the same as it is for an individual; daily awareness is the key & we fan the flames of awareness through prayer, meditation, discussion & celebration.
We see the light of hope in another’s eyes when they are telling us of their dreams … a child wishing to Santa, a student planning for future endeavors, a couple making vows, parents expecting a child, a new home or business or a new most anything can light the fire of hope in someone’s eyes. Spiritual Practice: Look for the light of hope in your (Advent) candle, the sky ~ especially at sunrise/sunset, and in each other’s eyes ~ discuss your dreams with each other & fan the hope with affirmations of possible. We like to remind each other that our all things possible God is always on the job and I also affirm, “It is not I but the Spirit within me that doeth the work.”
The practice of taking in the sunrise/sunset, talking about our dreams or even lighting a candle, can stir feelings of hope within us. We can feel the fire of hope in us simply upon awakening in the morning when our hearts are set on good. The use of affirmation & denial is extremely helpful for as we affirm our good, we feel it more. And when the inevitable voices or feelings arise that would take us out of feeling good, denial is a great tool. You simply deny the feeling of yuck, you disallow the arguments for limitation. A great (sample) denial is, “I choose hope.” Or “(I choose to know that) everything is working out for my highest good.” See, denials aren’t a negative or an argument in this case. We just choose differently but stated in the affirmative of what we do want. It takes awareness of course and like any habit, gets easier the more you do it. This practice of affirmation & denial works great with your kids & family unit ~ again it’s just habit or practice & one that is well worth cultivating. ~There are lots of ways to stir feelings, we’ll look at more of them during this season, we’ll call it Freeing Hope (or Love, Joy, Peace, etc.)!
The more we see & feel hope or any other essence, the more we can embody it & thereby help activate it in others. Again, within the family is a great place to start! We can bring the beauty of a sunset to someone else’s attention, we can ask about & validate their dreams, we can act as if everything & all things truly are possible. And if we don’t believe it, we can try faking it until we make it! I’m the first one to advocate being yourself & following your heart & truth always but we can cultivate anything we desire including hope, new habits, and a greater flow of Christ light.
Thank you for fanning your flames of hope here! This week’s Mindful Meditation Invitation is to rekindle the hopes & desires within you & your family ~ use affirmation & denial as needed! We invite you to play & pray with us every day at New Thought Families; we have a daily Advent Affirmation Calendar full of family fun! Our regular, daily Play & Pray Calendar is Oh Holy Light! We also invite you to sing transformational thoughts to traditional tunes with our 12 Thoughts Of Christmas CD! Namaste, Love & Holy Holidays!